February Gardening Tip

Pruning fruit trees:

feb1_lgFebruary through March is an excellent time to prune fruit trees. The first thing to remember when pruning fruit trees are the three Ds: remove all dead, damaged and diseased wood. Most small fruit trees are pruned to encourage new growth for next year fruit while keeping trees short and stocky. This helps the tree to bear a fruit load without breaking branches. Flower buds that bloom and produce fruit were developed the previous summer. So regardless of what is cut off, potential fruit is being lost; this is however necessary to promote new growth to increase buds for next summer. Be sure to cleanup all wood cut from the trees so you do not promote the spread of diseases.


Most anti-desiccants only have a life of about 60 days so it might be important to reapply if the material was first applied in December. Wait for a day where the temperatures get above 40 degrees; this product needs to dry on not freeze on. Evergreens that are sprayed with these products are protected from moisture loss, even when the plant is exposed to harsh winter sun and winds. [Read more…]

January Gardening Tip

Planting Christmas tree:

jan1_lgIf you have bought a live Christmas tree with the intent of planting it outdoors after the holiday, there are some things of which you should be aware. Never leave the tree in the house longer then 7 to 10 days after Christmas. The longer the plant is in the warm house, the less likely the plant will survive outdoors. After removing the plant from the house, take it to an unheated garage or shelter for several days to help the plant acclimate to the cold weather. Keep the ball moist at all times, but do not allow the root ball to freeze since this will result in root damage. Dig the hole the right size for planting. Be sure to plant the tree at the right depth and water it in well. Apply a mulch layer of 3 to 4 inches out to the drip line of the tree to insulate the soil from extreme temperatures in order to prevent root damage. [Read more…]